Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Arrow 3x17 "Suicidal Tendencies" (So It's Gonna Be Forever Or It's Gonna Go Down In Flames)

"Suicidal Tendencies"
Original Airdate: March 25, 2015

I'm not married, but I'm old enough to have seen a great number of my friends and classmates tie the knot. Ironically enough, I'm also old enough that I've seen a fraction of those same couples separate and divorce. Love is weird. It's weird and it's painful and it's wonderful and it's what makes the world spin on its axis. But anyone who's married will tell you that love is difficult. It's work. It doesn't come naturally to us. Naturally, we want to be selfish. We want to think of the best thing for us. We don't want to think of other people or their wants or their needs. And when you get married, you have to. And when you have a family, you have to. You have to consciously shut down the part of you that wants to be only about you in order to compromise, sacrifice, and live for another person. Love is work but in my experience, it's always worth it.

They always say that you should marry your best friend, and I think that's true. I think you should marry (again, take this advice with a grain of salt because I'm still single) someone who is your partner and your equal -- someone who will share your burdens with you, not make you carry the weight of the world by yourself. You should marry someone who fights for you, day after day. You should marry someone who you can take on the world together with. Diggle and Lyla have that, in "Suicidal Tendencies." They don't agree on everything. They don't often agree on how a situation should be handled or what tactic or strategy is best. But the reason that they work as a couple and the reason they survive in the Arrow-verse where everyone is angst-ridden and brooding is because they count on each other and always have each others' backs. Oh, sure, they argue and they fight. But Lyla knows John -- she knows who he is and what he should do, even when he can't admit it. And John Diggle would do anything to protect Lyla. They'll constantly defend each other even when they don't understand each other because that's just what love is.

"Suicidal Tendencies" is a jam-packed episode of Arrow, so let's discuss more Diggle/Lyla stuff as well as some Oliver/Ray/Felicity shenanigans (see: drama) below!

Diggle/Lyla (+ Deadshot, Cupid)

I've always thought that out of all the members of Team Arrow, Diggle was the most consistently under-appreciated and consistently well-adjusted. I love Roy. I love Felicity. And most times, I love Oliver and enjoy Laurel. But... man, those people are messed up. Even Felicity -- a woman seemingly bubbly and fun and full of energy -- has a really broken past and a hard time navigating her life sometimes. John Diggle has always been a really stoic character and he's the foundation that this show needed from the moment he stepped on screen. While Oliver needs Felicity in a lot of ways, he also really needs Diggle in a lot more. Dig is the person who stands by, arms folded, and waits for Oliver to do what they both know he needs to or say what they both know he wants to. Dig has a soldier's mentality in a lot of ways and it provides him depth as a character -- the way he responds to certain situations and people (like wielding two guns and aiming them at Malcolm when challenged) -- is a direct result of who he was in the field and what he had to do to survive. But Diggle is more than just a soldier. He's the voice of reason. He's the one who is unafraid to yell in Oliver's face whenever the young man is being stupid. He's the character whose life isn't constantly in angst-ridden, brooding turmoil. Diggle has allowed himself to be happy. As I said when I opened this paragraph, he's well-adjusted: he has a daughter and a wife. He has a family and he fights crime. And he's happy because he's allowed himself the opportunity to be.

That's something Oliver hasn't done. He did, briefly, in "The Calm." He allowed himself a brief moment of happiness and a rocket shot right at him and Felicity. Ever since then (and really before then) Oliver has let his experiences and his past taint his present. What is so refreshing about Diggle is that he's exactly the character Arrow needs: he's proof that you don't HAVE to have a tumultuous, brooding, angst-ridden backstory in order to be a valuable and layered character. Diggle doesn't need to have crises of identity because he just allows himself to focus on what he wants and what makes him happy. And that's so important because in a sea of characters who are constantly fighting with each other and themselves, Diggle is the example of what these people could all have if they just stopped running from their problems long enough to face them head-on. Of course, Diggle's story is punctured by moments of sorrow, by loss and tragedy, but he doesn't let that define him and he doesn't let that stop him from growing as a person.

Instead of letting Lyla's near-death experience draw him further away from her (like Oliver let that rocket-interrupted date do to him and Felicity in "The Calm"), Diggle took the opportunity to see the beauty and the message in the near-tragedy: if life is short, he wants to spend his living. And doing that means finding the balance between love and work; between heroism and being a husband and father. That, in a nutshell, is why I love Diggle. He's one of the only characters on this show that constantly chooses to live outside of the Arrow cave and not let the work he does become the thing that drives him into isolation. Oliver Queen, you could learn a thing or two from John Diggle.

But it's not all sunshine and rainbows in "Suicidal Tendencies" (which is actually a great title for an episode, considering the fact that Deadshot likens love to "a bullet to the brain" and our characters willingly fall in love and get married, therefore committing -- in his eyes -- suicide... and also given what happens at the episode's end) when Diggle and Lyla's mission involves a conflict of interest. Dig is a soldier, but he's also extremely compassionate: he wants to save hostages. He doesn't care if it's against orders because he values what's right above what's expected. Lyla isn't that way. Lyla often takes orders and asks questions later. But the beautiful thing about Diggle is that in his vows to Lyla, he promised she would never be alone again -- that no matter what they went through, it would be just that: THEM. So when Lyla gets called away to Kasnia on a mission, Diggle goes with her without hesitation.

What's important in "Suicidal Tendencies" is the inclusion of Deadshot and Cupid into the Diggle/Lyla story. Deadshot is bitter. He's brash and cynical and cold and he wasn't always that way, as we see in the flashbacks. Starkly contrasted with him is Cupid -- naive, a bit crazy, and insanely optimistic, she provides the perfect balance to Deadshot's blunt disgruntled personality. And when Deadshot insists that love and marriage and a family are merely distractions from the work they do... Diggle and Lyla don't believe that. They believe the opposite, actually: that family and love are what make the job they do actually worthwhile.

I loved that "Suicidal Tendencies" focused as lot on Deadshot as a character. We get the chance to see who he was before he became Deadshot -- we see him struggle to return home to his wife and child, to adjust to a life where his daughter thinks he's a stranger and is scared of him and his wife cannot understand the pain he went though. What this episode does right is the A-story: it beautifully illuminates Deadshot's past and progresses his character in the present. When it seems like there is no way for Dig and Lyla (and Cupid) out of a mission without dying, Lyla begins to break down and accept their fate. But it is Deadshot who tells her -- PROMISES her -- that she and Diggle will return home to their baby girl. It's clear that, from all he does in this episode for Diggle and Lyla, that Deadshot believes in love and hope. He believes in the joy of family. He believes that family is worth fighting for and that it truly is the one thing that keeps you grounded and human and whole.

So Deadshot sacrifices himself (apparently, but we can't know for sure if he's actually dead) for the opportunity to see Diggle and Lyla return home and raise their child together. His sacrifice rattles the newly re-married couple so much that both decide to quit their crime-fighting in favor of raising their baby girl. I'm still a bit confused as to whether or not the two have actually given up on fighting crime (because Diggle doesn't tell Oliver of his decision yet), but I really think it poignant that it happened because of Deadshot. And that's why Diggle toasted to him at the end of the episode.

A man once considered to be a criminal and a murderer gave his life so that Diggle and Lyla could live and love in theirs. The least they could do is try to stay alive long enough in their lifetimes to try and return that immeasurable gift.

Oliver/Ray (+ Ray/Felicity)

If you've been around this site long enough, you know how I feel about Ray Palmer. He began the season as this obnoxiously aggressive suitor of Felicity's and then turned into her sort-of-boyfriend. The problems that I have with Ray are numerous, really (and they exponentially increased in this episode, funnily enough). But the one thing that I will never get over is the fact that he pinged Felicity's phone (although, okay, someone did point out that a few weeks ago, Oliver placed a tracker on Laurel so really... not much better in this instance) in order to talk to her. That's ten thousand different kinds of wrong (for both men). But I've also realized that one of my problems with Ray is just his personality. He has a God complex that's clearly at play in "Suicidal Tendencies." And in a way, part of this complex is understandable because of losing Anna. He wants to make sure he never feels weak again and that he never has to feel powerless again. However, the way that Ray conducts his daily life is with an air of superiority and a whiff of arrogance. The way he views the world is through a lens of strict black-and-white predetermined by him. I realized that I know people like Ray, too: people who are always "on." People who are always moving and always thinking and constantly full of so much energy that it exhausts you to just be in the same room as them. Ray Palmer has very rarely slowed down on this series. It's his mind that drives him and his mind that propels him and his desire to be the hero everyone needs because of who he couldn't be for Anna that causes him to become The Atom.

That's really what Ray's personality boils down to: he is The Atom because he needs to be a hero for everyone because he couldn't be the hero for Anna. Oliver Queen's journey to heroism was much different and tinged -- nay, plastered -- with loss and pain. And it's important that "Suicidal Tendencies" falls on the heels of "The Offer" where Felicity asked Oliver to think about why he is still doing what he does. He claimed he didn't know; she asked him to figure it out. And he did. Oliver isn't a hero because he wants a thank-you. He isn't a hero because it makes himself feel better (which is precisely what, I think, is driving a lot of Ray's decisions). Oliver is a hero because he is the bridge between people and their happy endings. (I watched too much Once Upon A Time this week, apologies.) He stands in the gap for people between certain death and being reunited with loved ones. Oliver takes on pain so that others don't have to, which is what makes him so brooding and so guilt-ridden and so hesitant to accept a happy ending for himself.

Apart from Oliver and Ray's personality differences, there's also the glaringly obvious bright gold thread that connects them: Felicity. And even though I'm not a fan of how Ray pursued Felicity, we mentioned in the comments last week on my review that Ray does a good job of treating Felicity with respect and admiration. He takes her opinions into consideration and actually pretty much lives and dies by them. He communicates openly with her. There are no real secrets between them: Ray's made it known how he feels and what he wants. That, I will give Ray Palmer, is the one nugget of truth that he speaks in this episode. When he's hurt that Felicity lied to him and never told him about working on Team Arrow, he tells her that he has always been upfront and honest with her. He's always seen her as a partner. Again: true. He's not wrong. But then he essentially takes back her membership in Team Atom (RUN AWAY FROM THAT TEAM, FELICITY) and tells her that he can no longer trust her.

Everything that was good (of which there were very few things, but a few things no less) about Ray/Felicity is pretty much all shot in this episode when Ray discovers that Oliver Queen is The Arrow and decides to embark on his one-man-machine mission to save Starling City. Ray is like every new crime-fighter -- overeager, driven purely by emotion, and entirely reckless (see: Laurel, Roy). In fact, Ray is so blinded by his jealousy of Oliver (isn't it fun to have a man be jealous in a show instead of a woman) and his stubborn belief that Oliver is a criminal and a lowlife that he knocks aside Felicity, tells her that he was wrong to trust her (accusing her of her feelings for Oliver clouding the judgement of the kind of man he really is). I just have one thing to say to you, Ray Palmer: you don't deserve Felicity Meghan Smoak, then.

My problem with the Ray/Felicity resolution is the reason I've had problems with Danny Castellano all season of The Mindy Project: instead of learning something for himself -- instead of becoming a better person by treating Mindy better -- Danny ALWAYS has to learn lessons through other characters telling him what to do. His Ma has to tell him to go after Mindy. Tamra's cousin Sheena has to tell Danny how to treat Mindy during a fragile time in her self-esteem. Danny can never just learn a lesson on his own. He always has to be told by other people how to treat the woman he cares about, supposedly. In "Suicidal Tendencies," Oliver has to tell Ray Palmer to trust Felicity. And then... Ray decides to trust her. Not because he realized, on his own, how selfish and egotistical he was being. Not because he realized he was being a tool to Felicity, hurting her for having a relationship with a man that existed while he was still happily with Anna. No, he decides to trust Felicity in the end because the man in the hood told him that he should. Solid, right?

Ray is, quite simply, far too high-and-mighty in this episode. Because he's been a superhero for about five minutes, he believes he knows what is best. His entire perception of Felicity changes because -- as he accuses her of -- HIS perceptions of Oliver blind him to the truth. He's arrogant and narrow-minded and if you didn't dislike Ray before this episode, you probably did after viewing. Or maybe that's just me.


There's another conflict at work, too, in the Oliver/Ray dynamic and it's the idea that Oliver has convinced himself he can't be with Felicity because of the life he leads. And then there's this guy who comes along and is rich and handsome and successful... and also gets the girl. I think that "Suicidal Tendencies" is the episode in which Oliver really starts to think about what he's been doing with Felicity. There's a brilliant conversation between them in the lair in which Oliver tells Felicity that her new boyfriend is reckless. And Oliver isn't wrong. Felicity is upset with herself for you know, helping to create that super suit and being caught in this web of chaos that caused her boyfriend to turn on her best friend/love of her life. So she's frustrated. She's mad at Oliver, mad at Ray, mad at herself. And really, what Felicity truly needs is to head off to Central City for a spa day with Caitlin and Iris. And she needs to stay there and have sleepovers with them where they discuss their warped and complicated love lives and she needs to eat junk food and watch romantic comedies and spend as much time away from superheroes as possible (minus Barry because we love Barry). Felicity needs time to back away from both men and discover who she really is and what she wants out of life as a human being. I really believe that.

Because in the beginning of the episode, Oliver was content with seeing Felicity date Ray. I mean, it made him uncomfortable because he clearly loves her still more than anything in the world. But the reason he was content? Felicity is safe. She's with a normal guy who leads a perfectly ordinary life and that makes her happy. She deserves to be safe and secure. But once Oliver realizes who Ray truly is and what he plans to do -- take on Maseo and the other League members who are killing criminals under Arrow-like hoods -- he grows irate. Felicity understandably misplaces his anger in the same way that Diggle misplaced her jealousy in "Time of Death" over Oliver/Sara. She believes he doesn't really mean what he said, earlier. It's cliched, right? It's cliched to tell a person you used to love (or still love) that you're happy for them. I can promise you that I've said those words before to a guy I was in love with as he dated someone else. I told him that I was happy, but I wasn't. I was just surviving.

But Oliver really WAS happy. Now he's angry. Why? It's not because he's jealous. I think Oliver's moved past a lot of his jealousy. No, it's because the one thing he thought he couldn't give Felicity -- a safe, normal life -- is the one thing Ray isn't going to give her either. All he wants is for Felicity to be loved and cared for and Ray, he claims, is still too young in this heroism business to know that it's impossible to have it all. It's impossible to be the superhero and get the girl without that girl possibly getting hurt. Or worse. THAT is what makes Oliver furious. It's not that Ray has Felicity and he doesn't; it's that now Ray is endangering Felicity and he cannot stand by and watch him do that. But Felicity makes it abundantly clear what Oliver's real problem is in this episode: he doesn't believe he can be happy AND fight crime. And Felicity tells him totally and completely that she needs to be with someone who isn't afraid to be happy. And... isn't that Oliver's greatest problem? Hasn't it been his biggest stumbling block since "The Calm"? Mr. Brooding McBroodpants has refused to allow himself any single moment of happiness because he believes it is weakness. He believes love gets you killed and while he's not entirely wrong, he's also not entirely right. And he pushes his cynicism and angst onto Ray when he tells Felicity that since Ray is new at the superhero business, he hasn't learned yet that being happy and in love and being a crime-fighter are mutually exclusive. But he will.

(Sidebar: Can Oliver Queen please stop giving people advice? He's really bad at it.)

Oliver pushing his broody agenda on others and telling people what they deserve crosses the line for Felicity, as she essentially tells him that he can't tell her who or what she deserves or that Ray should or shouldn't behave a certain way. And while I agree with Oliver -- the superhero business is more taxing than Ray Palmer can even fathom -- I also think that Oliver is missing the larger point. He's a lot more damaged than most people are and he expects them to behave the same way that he does. So he should probably stop giving advice based on his own experiences because they're unique. Also: Oliver should probably just stop believing he is incapable of being happy. 

Look, I'm going to be honest here: love triangles bore me, really, and they're trite to begin with. The only way to make a love triangle work is for it to be full of a conflict more substantial than just: "Girl A is caught in between Boy B and Boy C's affections." For the most part, that is not what the purpose of Oliver/Felicity/Ray is. (Though the scene between Ray and Felicity at Palmer Technologies where he accuses her of having feelings for Oliver felt very trite and tired and made me roll my eyes.)

But Felicity isn't caught between her affections for two men in this episode. Not really. She made it clear last week that if it had been up to her? There would be no Ray. (#sorrynotsorry buddy). No, this love triangle is founded on the same theme that everything has been built around this season: identity. The love triangle is a symptom of crises of identity, not the cause of it. The triangle, in this episode, is focused on the fact that Oliver and Felicity have a very rich history together that Ray does not have any real knowledge of. Ray views Oliver as a threat, but not a romantic rival. He believes that Felicity sees what she wants to see in Oliver (how insulting to Felicity's intelligence and discretion, amirite?) -- that because she's blinded by her affection for him, she cannot see him as a murderer like Ray does. Ray believes he can see Oliver clearly, but he is so blinded by jealousy that -- spoiler alert! -- he cannot.

What's really refreshing about the Oliver/Felicity in this episode is Oliver himself. HE is the one constantly fighting for Felicity. He's the one who tells Ray that Felicity is worth trusting, that her judgement is solid, and that he has nothing to prove to her. Oliver and Felicity know each other inside out. She knows him better than most people in the world. She's not blinded by his flaws. It's actually what makes their dynamic SO great. She refuses to see him with rose-colored glasses and consistently calls him out on his crap. Ray doesn't see that, of course, and in a moment of amazing truth-delivering, Oliver tells Ray: "I have nothing to prove to her. But you do." Even in her relationship, OLIVER is the one fighting for Felicity. And he will never stop fighting for her happy ending. Ever.

Isn't that what "Suicidal Tendencies" is really about? Fighting for love? Fighting to hold onto it, to keep it safe, to keep it alive? Love, as Taylor Swift so aptly puts it, can be forever. Or it can go down in flames. But the choice, always, remains ours.

Observations & favorite moments:
  • MVP for this episode is, without a doubt, Michael Rowe. I always love the cynicism and dark humor that he brings to Floyd Lawton/Deadshot, but what absolutely astounded me was how deeply we were able to delve into his story. It was so wonderful and painful to see him return home to his wife and daughter in the flashbacks and watch him slowly unravel and spiral because of all he had been forced to do while in the service. Michael brought such raw vulnerability to those scenes in the flashbacks. It was chilling and sad and beautiful to see Floyd's life crumble and for him to turn into Deadshot. In the present, I absolutely loved that we saw the progression from cynic to determined soldier and father. Deadshot remembered what it felt like to have his wife and daughter and he fought until the very end for Diggle and Lyla to make it home to their little girl. Everything -- every little sarcastic joke or heartfelt scene -- was so well done and so well-acted by Michael Rowe. Bravo. Truly.
  • I missed Deadshot and Cupid a lot. Like, a lot. Also I may or may not sort of, kind of, perhaps ship them. They're both crazy and they're both hilarious. I dig it. Or, well, dug it, since Deadshot may be dead. But as I said on Twitter, Arrow likes to utilize what I call the "Doctor Who Effect": no one is really dead until proven without a shadow of a doubt.
  • "You hurt her, they'll never find your body." DIGGLE FOR THE WIN.
  • "You really wanna do this?" "Hell yes." Best vows ever or best vows ever?
  • Roy and Thea dancing together in the background of the wedding scene was adorable and perfect. Also everyone's attire for the wedding was perfect. I have serious dress envy for Felicity's little red number and then I found it online and realized how much it actually costs.
  • "I kind of... caught it?" "Well done." Look, I'm 1000000% here for more Laurel/Felicity. I love the girl appreciation directed to the person who catches the bouquet because men, you do not even KNOW how much of a war-zone that truly is.
  • Apparently all of Team Arrow has the Starling City news on demand on their phones. I mean, I suppose that's smart but probably also annoying at some point, too, right?
  • "Yeah, I wasn't always me either." We got Deadshot flashbacks this week from before he was Deadshot and they're a thousand times better than Hong Kong flashbacks.
  • Felicity has totally worn that crop top/skirt combination before in "The Secret Origin of Felicity Smoak" and I absolutely love it. *grabby hands*
  • "Ray built a super suit? That's kind of awesome... and reckless." There was not enough Roy Harper in this episode, you guys.
  • Laurel Lance vs. Ray Palmer is seriously everything I never knew I wanted. I loved seeing her threaten Ray with the law because Laurel is SO GOOD AT HER JOB. Honestly, it was the only non-Suicide Squad scene that made me extremely happy in this episode. (Can you tell that I didn't care for much about this episode?)
  • "... Okay, I take it back. I do want to die."
  • "Arrow." "Super suit." HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA. The sass was strong in that scene.
  • I got really mad when Ray dared to talk about the island. DO NOT TALK ABOUT OLIVER'S PAIN LIKE YOU KNOW HIM, YOU SMUG JERK.
  • "... Oh." Well, Oliver, what did you think would happen if you shot your arrow AT A METAL SUIT OF ARMOR? *facepalm* Amell's delivery of that line WAS hilarious though.
  • I didn't like the Ray/Felicity resolution but I also don't like Ray. So there's that.
Well, folks, there you have it! I didn't like this episode nearly enough, clearly, because I included a lot of snark and a GIF (that's how you know I'm beginning to get fed up). Hopefully next week we return to form with about 75% less Ray Palmer and about 100% more Roy, Thea, and -- yes, I was missing him this week THAT IS HOW BAD IT WAS -- Malcolm. Hit up the comments below with your thoughts, dear readers. Until then! :)


  1. I would like 100% less Palmer but baring that, will take 98% less Palmer. I have a physical visceral reaction to him and it's not because he's with Felicity (I loved Barlicity) it's because he's every douchebag I ever dated before finding my Oliver. This guy is literally useless and will not get better. I understand the triangle is Felicity/Arrow/Oliver but excuse me for failing math and not learning about the triangle with a limp line. There were so many better ways to tell that story. I am actually angry at the writers for giving him a spin-off AND making me hate him, I will never watch that show and I so wanted to know how they were bringing Sara back. *deep breath* Yay Layla/Diggle, I totally ship Deadshot/Cupid and no way he's dead, Laurel making me happy is freaking me out but I credit her growing female friendships including Felicity and Nyssa, clearly she never had those before, Roy baby I love you, please don't die. Oh and Oliver? Have a drink, go for a spa day, read a book, it's time for you to chill out and do some self reflection.

    1. April: In an ideal world, we will have 100% less Ray Palmer. But since we know he's in the hospital next week from the episode stills and that he and Felicity head to Central City in a few weeks, too, it looks like we are stuck with him for a while longer. (SIDENOTE: I STILL KIND OF DO LOVE THE IDEA OF BARRY/FELICITY THAT IS MY CONFESSION OKAY)

      There were so many better ways to tell that story.

      You know, I was talking to my friend Laura about this last night and what I told her was that I think the idea of an "identity-centered" love triangle is actually really a good idea because it places the emphasis on the men and not the woman "caught" in the middle. But Ray Palmer isn't written as a likable character for this. If you had Ray Palmer with the personality of Barry Allen, I would probably be fine with episodes like this. But the fact that Ray has been written as such a high-and-mighty character who borders on stalker is really crippling any message the writers are trying to send about the triangle's importance. And up until this episode, I understood Ray/Felicity: I totally got why she slept with him, because Oliver was acting like a tool and shutting her out and, moreover, not treating her at ALL like a partner whose opinions were worth consideration. I get that.

      But for the first time in this story, I did not get why Felicity went back to Ray. He was such a tool to her and THE ONLY REASON HE TRUSTED HER WAS BECAUSE OLIVER TOLD HIM TOO. Ugh.

      ANYWAY. Dig/Lyla? Perfection. And I'm so happy that Deadshot was such a huge focus this episode because he's AMAZING. He and Cupid were hilarious together and there is no way he's really dead because no one is ever really dead on this show, right? Laurel was one of my favorite parts of this episode, seriously. I'm loving her more and more these days.

      If Roy dies, a part of me will too because he's just so great and I miss him when he isn't prominent. Which, if you would have told me last year I would feel that way, I would have been shocked.

      Thank you again for your comments, April! :)

    2. On your idea of better ways to tell this story, IMAGINE:

      A plot is Diggle/Lyla getting married with flashbacks to how they fell apart and came back together in combat situations (because of their loyalty and knowing each other)

      B plot is Oliver vs. Ray engaged in full hero on hero combat


      Ray and Felicity falling apart because they can't handle the strain
      Oliver and Felicity growing closer and closer because not only can they, they do this daily

      If the episode had just been that and been mostly Diggle-Lyla centric (with a clear comparison to Oliver-Felicity), I would be in season 2 heaven.... SIGH. It could have been so good.

      Ps. How was Ray going to explain how he saw Oliver with x-ray vision unless he outs himself as The Atom to the District Attorney?

  2. This was my exact feeling of the entire episode. Ray and Felicity seemed so forced, it's like the writers just wanted that conflict so they are going to make it happen but there is no chemistry (not that I'm complaining). When they made up, I was thinking-Man this looks so fake. I think Felicity is just clinging to Ray because Oliver won't take the next step. I also believe though that the ball is slightly in Oliver's court. He's told her he loves her multiple times now and she just needs to take control and tell him back. Make him see that pushing that love away won't keep her any safer. Maybe next week, if that arrow is aimed at her, he will finally understand whether they are together or no, she is in danger so she might as well be in danger and in Oliver's bed ;) All in all, this was a rough episode to watch, I feel it should have been 2 hours with all they tried to cram in. I loved everything they had in there but it all felt so rushed. One minute Ray is threatening to take down the Arrow and all of a sudden they are fighting. I felt it was missing something previous episodes have done a great job of, the build up to the fight. The fight was awesome but it jumped there so fast that I felt cheated out of the suspense. Also, the fact that they just left Roy hanging was very odd to me. I felt with the rush of getting all the scenes in this was an out of character oversight for the writers. Love your post! I will be checking in every week now!

    1. Hello there, Katie! First of all: welcome to the blog. I'm so glad that you found us and enjoyed reading the review. :)

      As I said above, I totally understood the point of Ray as a character until this episode. I am now firmly on Team Ray Palmer Must Die. I just don't understand WHY Felicity even cares about him at this point. And I actually totally agree with you -- it seemed like there was a lot that was crammed into this episode. Almost like the "fight" between Atom and Arrow could have been in another episode but yeah, we went from 0 to Ray-wants-to-fight very quickly.

      Thank you again for reading and for your comments! :)

    2. Thank you for pinning down why I didn't like that resolution with Palmer and Felicity at the end. The episode made it seem like Felicity is just clinging to Palmer because she can't have Oliver. And that does a disservice to her character. Boom. That is what was niggling at me.

  3. Ray as a character really never bothered me before this episode. In fact, I sorta, kinda liked him - but the writers really messed him up. In the times that he and Felicity had a cute banter - I felt that it worked. After this episode, though - I am firmly in the do not like camp. I find that strange because he is going to be in the spin-off and why are they making him so unlikeable?

    Oh, I agree - best vows ever!

    1. I actually am right there with you regarding Ray and I tweeted this last night: "Not like I wasn't headed there already, but this episode placed me firmly on team anti-Ray Palmer. Do we have t-shirts?" I tolerated Ray because I understood his purpose but this episode just really decimated any sort of sympathy or understanding I had for him. It's so weird because I don't think the writers GET that. I don't know if it's how Routh (who seems like an actual nice person) is playing Ray -- smarmy with a God complex and stalker tendencies -- or if it's just the writing, but he's not likable at all. And this episode firmly placed me on the other side.

      (Diggle/Lyla was amazing and beautiful and I love it so much.)

      Thanks for your comments, Katherine! :)

  4. Well that was a big old mess wasn't it? Thing is, while I probably won't go back and watch this episode like I do with plenty of others, it was bound to happen wasn't it? At some point the Arrow and the Atom were going to know about each other and it wasn't going to go smoothly.

    But firstly I want to talk about the Suicide Squad plot. Cause that was great. I love watching Lyla and Diggle work together and I love watching them disagree. They do it with so smoothly and with such maturity and both actors play it so well that you can feel years of experience behind that couple. I love that. I am a happily married person but I can assure you that doesn't give anyone the expertise to start judging anyone else's relationship. However, I enjoy seeing how other teams work cause there are basic principles. Diggle and Lyla work hard at what they have, probably even more now because it fell apart before. They have learned what kind of fighting tears people apart and it looks like they've learned to disagree without tearing each other down. So beautiful. John doesn't particularly like ARGUS (who does?) or agree with their methods but he believes that Lyla loves her job and that she is good at it. He is not going to let her go on that mission alone and thank goodness he is there. She is focused on the mission she was given even though John thinks it should be otherwise. But they go to get the job done. I really loved their realisation that they have been continued to act sometimes like they did before they were parents which is totally normal because they've been soldiers a lot longer and those habits are ingrained. They both decide to quit their job when they get home but Lyla makes a good point about the difference in their two jobs. She believes the work that John does with Team Arrow is good work, something to be proud of whereas this mission really made her realise that her job is so not good. It is about expediency and objectives but not really about doing the right thing and she can't stomach it any more. Bravo Lyla! I look forward to seeing what she decides to do in the future... Now John says he is going quit Team Arrow but I have a feeling he agrees with Lyla, it is good work that would make their daughter proud. In any case, by the time he has drinks with Oliver at the end he uses “we” when talking about stopping the imposters. Diggle and Lyla are so amazing that I want Diggle to end one of his little speeches in a Jeff Winger fashion: “Why can't you all be cool like me?”

    1. Becca! My faithful commenter. I'm disappointed by this episode for sure. The only part I really hated was anything involving Ray, because the rest of the episode more than made up for it.

      I love watching Lyla and Diggle work together and I love watching them disagree. They do it with so smoothly and with such maturity and both actors play it so well that you can feel years of experience behind that couple. I love that.

      YES THIS. That's exactly what I've never been able to put into words. They know each other so intimately in every way and it's this sageness that comes with everything they do or say regarding each other that makes them such a solid, wonderful couple. Their disagreements aren't petty; they're real and you can tell that these aren't new arguments. They're parts of their personalities that clash. And what I so admire is how seamlessly they work together in EVERY aspect -- field, married life, parenting, etc.

      I really loved their realisation that they have been continued to act sometimes like they did before they were parents which is totally normal because they've been soldiers a lot longer and those habits are ingrained. They both decide to quit their job when they get home but Lyla makes a good point about the difference in their two jobs. She believes the work that John does with Team Arrow is good work, something to be proud of whereas this mission really made her realise that her job is so not good.

      I've never thought about the differences between their jobs in the way that Lyla views them before but it was such an interesting and compelling stance to take and something that added another layer to their decision-making at the end.

      iggle and Lyla are so amazing that I want Diggle to end one of his little speeches in a Jeff Winger fashion: “Why can't you all be cool like me?”

      God bless you for quoting Jeff Winger, Becca. GOD BLESS.

  5. I know Lance is on the outs with the team right now and he doesn't know Diggle is part of it officially but I kinda want Lance and Diggle to talk about how to have dangerous jobs while being a parent. We all depend on cops and firefighters and military who do dangerous things while trying to have a life.

    And what could be more tragic than watching that fall to pieces for Floyd Lawton? I LOVED his flashbacks. He is such a great character and I'm so glad they have been able to regularly bring him back on the show and make him ever more layered. In a season dealing with identity we see his become twisted as he comes to believe he is just a killer and can't have a family. I was so upset when that HIVE operative kept saying “for people like you”. This is exactly the kind of thing Oliver is struggling with. Not to mention this series has touched on the horror of PTSD at times and Lawton's story was such a painful reminder of that. Great storyline and an example of how a short little bunch of flashbacks can really work both for the episode and for the series as a whole (which makes me more disappointed when they have blah flashbacks). I actually teared up a bit when he told Diggle and Lyla that he was giving his life so they could have theirs. And I know he's not dead. He has certainly done horrible things since getting hired by HIVE but this ep helped me feel compassion and understanding for him which is what a well-told story should do. And a great tease of the HIVE connection and great set-up for them being future big bads. So yeah, the Suicide Squad part of the episode was really good.

    1. Oh Lancey, Lance. I did love that the mayor (which someone mentioned -- worst job EVER to hold in Starling) had to break up a daddy/daughter tiff, lol. But I just want Lance to be back on the side of the good when it comes to The Arrow. Unfortunately though, that is not going to happen ANY time soon.

      Floyd Lawton's PTSD backstory was SO good and raw and sad, and kudos to Arrow for promoting Wounded Warrior Project in the episode too. His story was so good. Who knew that he would be my favorite character in this episode?

      I actually teared up a bit when he told Diggle and Lyla that he was giving his life so they could have theirs.

      DITTO, GIRL.

  6. The rest... well I wasn't really enjoying it but I will play a bit of devil's advocate too. Oliver and Palmer have certainly been set up as being very similar to each other in some ways: powerful, wealthy, CEOs, tragic back story, desire to save the city, attraction to Felicity Smoak, certain in their own view of things, stubborn as all get out, sizeable egos, kinda bossy etc etc etc. The differences are there too of course. Most notably we have had lots of experience with Oliver's good qualities and we love him so we have more patience for his screw ups. Ray is someone that I (and many others) have yet to warm to. (How is that I have more compassion and interest in Floyd Lawton, a man who has been paid to kill lots of people, than I do for Ray Palmer? I think Palmer may even have more screen time at this point. Maybe because the show has never asked me to be on Lawton's side but simply shown me who he is whereas with Palmer I feel like I am “supposed” to like him but haven't been shown much of him as a real person.)

    I mostly have been witness to Palmer being fairly high handed. Yes, Oliver wasn't above putting a tracker on Laurel but in that case Laurel was patently putting herself in life-threatening situations whereas Palmer has just tracked Felicity in the midst of her 'regular life' in order to force her to talk to him. So tonight his arrogant assurance that he knew what the situation was just felt like more of the same. Now I can be a little devil's advocate for him- he found out that Oliver Queen was the Arrow and being a smart guy it follows that Felicity works with him and has strong feelings for him based on her grieving in earlier episodes. Maybe what he has been seeing between them comes into focus and he feels a little put out. Understandable. And then he takes his ego and jealousy and drive to help the city which are all messed up in a big tangle and tries to go toe to toe with the evil Arrow. (Convenient how he sees Oliver after the whole multiple Arrow fight and doesn't see any of the imposters) And I will give him points for admitting that he was wrong pretty quick, admitting his ego was bruised and standing up in the Mayor's meeting to say he was wrong. HOWEVER, this is the first time Felicity has given him any reason to doubt her and he goes all the way into doubt. In fact, this is the first time the two have some serious disagreement and he doesn't do it very well. All of his interaction with Felicity has been about common goals (his company and his crusade) and it is all nice and easy when she is so supportive but now we have conflict, a part of her life that doesn't involve him and he might disagree with and certainly doesn't understand. And if anything is telling about a pair of people (romantic, family, friend, whatever) it is how they disagree. Diggle and Lyla are pros about it. Palmer loses faith pretty darn quick, isn't ready to listen to much that Felicity has to say since it is conflict with his viewpoint and then just doesn't speak to her again until the Arrow finally tells him to trust her. Not a good pattern but it was their first major fight. (I'm not sure if Palmer was pro-Arrow before because he mentioned wanting to be like him in a previous ep or how much Palmer might be secretly, irrationally upset with the Arrow for not saving his fiancée.)

    1. Ray is someone that I (and many others) have yet to warm to. (How is that I have more compassion and interest in Floyd Lawton, a man who has been paid to kill lots of people, than I do for Ray Palmer? I think Palmer may even have more screen time at this point. Maybe because the show has never asked me to be on Lawton's side but simply shown me who he is whereas with Palmer I feel like I am “supposed” to like him but haven't been shown much of him as a real person.)

      See this is what the actual problem is in a nutshell: the show never asked me to empathize with Lawton but then I DID because they told his story truthfully and honestly and it made me ache with compassion for him. They redeemed him. I just feel like they're trying TOO HARD to endear Ray to us and we keep rejecting him, so they keep pushing harder. This episode was the breaking point for me. Ray was meant to be a foil for Oliver, clearly, but his abrasive and problematic personality is what causes a giant wall to exist between us, the viewers, and him.

      I can agree with you there on playing a TINY bit of devil's advocate as Jen said in her own review: was Ray justified in feeling betrayed? Absolutely. Yeah, that was a HUGE thing to keep from him and yes, it is obviously a lot to process in a matter of a few moments with Felicity. But the way Ray dealt with the revelation is what obviously ticked most of us off. He was justified in his feelings but not in what he did because of them, if that makes sense? (Again, just my personal opinion here.)

      In fact, this is the first time the two have some serious disagreement and he doesn't do it very well. All of his interaction with Felicity has been about common goals (his company and his crusade) and it is all nice and easy when she is so supportive but now we have conflict, a part of her life that doesn't involve him and he might disagree with and certainly doesn't understand.

      Right? Their first fight and he's automatically decided he can't trust Felicity and wants to bail on everything? Okay Ray. Is that how you handle relationships?

    2. I know you all are going to slam me but I am going to stick up for Ray. Yes, they made him have a big ego and there are many things that I would like to see different about him but his reaction to Felicity really is natural. He lost his love and did not plan on having another until he kissed Felicity. He has been 100% honest with her and even went to explain why he left after the kiss. He trusted her without question and began a relationship with her and then he finds out she has been keeping this from him and realizes this is the guy she cares so deeply for. Then you wonder why he acted as he did? Come on. If this was Barry, Oliver or anyone else, you would understand and give him a pass but because it is Ray, none given. Everyone says it is because Oliver told him to trust Felicity that Ray changed his mind but maybe he just realized after the fight and all that he could trust Felicity. And everyone talks about the trust between O and F but remember how long that took. Do you forget the scene where Felicity tells Barry and how mad Oliver got? She did it to save his life but he questioned her judgement. I love Olicity and believe it will be endgame but I am not willing to throw Ray under the bus. Ray is not Oliver. Ray did not have a island experience to show him not to be so ego centered. Ray is still hurting from the Ana death and finding his own path to being a hero. Oliver has had over two years to get there. Oliver made some really, really terrible decisions and he did things that were not good in the beginning, also. I love Oliver and SA plays him so fantastic but let's give Ray a chance. Also, Felicity saying she is sorry was not going against her character but being Felicity. She realized how much she hurt Ray by her actions and she wanted him to know she cared about him. I will be so glad when Oliver finally realizes he can have a life and love but I understand Felicity grabbing on to someone who opens his heart to her. She has been beaten and bruised by Oliver and she did run to the person who patched her up emotionally and I think she deserved that until Oliver finally mans up. Love them all and can not wait for Mama Smoak. Goes without saying that I loved Roy's comment and the love between Lyla and Dig. Thanks for listening.

    3. Becca did a good job playing devil's advocate and I do agree with her and you to a point -- because yes, the reason Felicity was drawn to Ray in the first place was how upfront he was with her about his feelings and everything. And I totally, 100% get that. That's actually not my problem.

      My real problem is the WAY Ray handled how he found out and what he said to Felicity. Like, I get that he's hurt and he has every right to be. But that doesn't give him the right to start accusing her of having feelings for Oliver (which... he's never mentioned and seems like just a lame cop-out to try and justify his jealousy and anger) and he certainly has no right to tell Felicity that she's wrong. Because, remember: Felicity has been with Oliver for so long that she knows him. Ray was with Anna the year prior. So yeah, if he would have taken a step away from his mishandling of the situation, he might have been able to say: "Look, I understand you have history but you have to understand that I don't know this guy at all." THAT would have been fine. But instead, Ray became so self-absorbed and erratic and stupidly, blindly pompous that he actually STAGED A TRAP TO FIGHT OLIVER AND THEN WHEN HE LOST, TOLD HIM TO KILL HIM TO PROVE A (TOTALLY UNFOUNDED) POINT.

      Ray... Ray is definitely still hurting from Anna and I think I made the point above in the review that the reason he acts the way he does is because he felt powerless to save Anna and so he wants to never feel that way again. I get that. Again: not my real problem. The problem is that they took an already divisive character and made him leap off the deep end so jarringly fast that it gave me emotional whiplash AND made me loathe him because he was being so horrible to Oliver and Felicity (and geez, even LAUREL by dredging up her past relationship with Oliver).

      Oliver is certainly not at all faultless and I've had a lot of problems with him, so I understand Felicity gravitating toward Ray up until the very end of last night's episode. I cannot fathom why she wants to be with someone who, at the first sign of turmoil in a relationship, doesn't want to work things out but wants to -- instead -- completely abandon EVERY bit of faith he had in her and attack someone else needlessly.

      Seriously though thank you for your comment and your thoughts. Unpopular opinions are always welcome here and we will never attack -- only defend our points. Also, thank you for reminding me that mama Smoak returns next week because I CANNOT WAIT. Best character ever.

    4. I did feel the need to defend Ray a little mostly because I like to offer another side however I can switch sides and disagree again because while Ray Palmer could have made some good points this episode I don't believe he's been 100% honest.

      This has been pointed out by others but I believe it bears repeating. Even if we overlook the fact that he certainly kept secrets when he first met her at the electronics store so that he could illegally get information on the company he wanted to take over he also wasn't up front about his ATOM plans at all. He presented her the problem of the damaged server to fix right after hiring her without telling her that he wanted access to the QC tech for his own supersuit (a slight conflict of interest). He didn't tell her why he wanted the mining rights in 3x07 when she basically got them for him during that dinner. And when he did tell her it was because she came into his office and told him she would quit if he didn't come clean.

      Now I can see what he means. Ever since they became involved he has kept no secrets from her and she has had hidden parts of her life. But I still think it was an overreaction to go from she didn't tell me everything about her friend to she hid something from me because she has feelings for him to I can't trust her at all.

      But always good to remind everyone to take another look at every character and not condemn any too easily.

    5. YESSS!!! Thanks Anonymous, I thought I was the only one... I agree with everything you said! Totally! I give Felicity so much credit I don´t think she would go back to someone not worth being with! :)


  7. Oliver and Felicity have had far more conflicts with each other but they tend to back each other up a lot more when the chips are down and they always keep working. And I was proud of Oliver, he was being fairly emotionally mature this episode. I do think he meant it when he said that he is happy for Felicity. This is what he wants for her even if it is painful for him (he's good at ignoring pain.) Then he sees that Felicity is with a would-be vigilante. (Yes, how does Palmer get up on his high horse with the Arrow and Black Canary when he has the exact same intentions?) We know Oliver is not a fan of rookies and even more not a fan of Felicity getting hurt. He truly believes it is not possible to save the city and be happy. Sad really but not dishonest. But Palmer is the one picking the fight, not Oliver.

    And Felicity gets raked over the coals for not telling each about the other (but did she think it would go well when they found out about the other crimefighter?) She was unfair to accuse Oliver of being anti-Palmer just because he doesn't want them together. However, she had just been yelled at by her boyfriend and then Oliver comes along insulting him and we've all said stuff we don't mean or didn't think through when we are upset. That is why it is so hard to fight fairly. But the disagreement between Oliver and Felicity that started back in 3x01 is still there: Felicity wants to be with someone who is not afraid to be happy and have a life (and she thinks Oliver could do both). Oliver still believes he cannot be both the Arrow and have a happy life. Felicity thinks she might have found that in Palmer, a real partner, and Oliver is convinced it can't happen. This brings me to an interesting problem with Oliver's desire to see Felicity have a happy, normal life. Is it really possible for any of the team to do what they do and have a partner who doesn't know who the Arrow is? People keep saying Felicity could just date but she would always be hiding a big part of her life from anyone outside of the team. Now there are partners like Lyla- she knows the Arrow's identity and seems fine with it and all of the danger (which I think would be unusual in a partner). Or there are partners who could be kept in the dark which would involve a lot of lying or at least hiding which would never make for a good long term relationship. Felicity's life is just not normal and it will never be as long as she is part of the team. And she has already told Oliver what she needs to be happy.

    1. Oliver and Felicity have had far more conflicts with each other but they tend to back each other up a lot more when the chips are down and they always keep working.

      Yes! I was very proud of the fact that no matter what, they have each others' backs even when they're mad at one another (it reminds me of "Blast Radius" where they were fighting but Felicity was still supporting him in the field and worried about him). And Oliver, thank goodness, has turned a corner after last week in being more emotionally mature. Who knows how long it'll last so I'm hanging onto it for dear life. ;)

      She was unfair to accuse Oliver of being anti-Palmer just because he doesn't want them together. However, she had just been yelled at by her boyfriend and then Oliver comes along insulting him and we've all said stuff we don't mean or didn't think through when we are upset. That is why it is so hard to fight fairly.

      Fighting when you're emotional is the worst because at its core, fighting IS emotional. And then you drag baggage into the fight and suddenly you're not really fighting about the thing you were arguing about in the first place, which is what totally happened during that foundry scene.

      But the disagreement between Oliver and Felicity that started back in 3x01 is still there: Felicity wants to be with someone who is not afraid to be happy and have a life (and she thinks Oliver could do both). Oliver still believes he cannot be both the Arrow and have a happy life. Felicity thinks she might have found that in Palmer, a real partner, and Oliver is convinced it can't happen.

      Jen made this astute observation in her review where she said that Oliver and Felicity FINALLY dragged into the light the argument that has been behind all of their other arguments -- what happened in "The Calm." (Brava to you both for being able to pinpoint that.)

      Is it really possible for any of the team to do what they do and have a partner who doesn't know who the Arrow is? People keep saying Felicity could just date but she would always be hiding a big part of her life from anyone outside of the team.

      I think that's an interesting question and also the point of including what happened with Dig/Lyla into this story: they chose to walk away. I think for Team Arrow, the only way for each of them to have a normal functional relationship is if both parties are in on the secret or both parties are out of the foundry. Felicity could have a normal relationship... if she gave up being on Team Arrow. IDK that she'd be able to live a secret life and still share her life with someone else, you know?

      Oliver should really just put the pieces together already: 1) He's what she needs to be happy. 2) They need each other. 3) They should be together. BAM.

  8. But yeah, that was always going to be a mess: 1) Palmer is upset about not being told stuff by Felicity, jealous of Oliver a bit, and if he wants to protect the city he must not think the Arrow is doing a good enough job or thinks he could do better so there is ego mixed up in that. 2) Oliver is defensive of Felicity (and still in love with her), defensive and possessive of his city and responsibility to protect it, disgruntled that Palmer seems to think he can have it all, and he's being accused by everyone and has to worry about the League too. 3) Felicity is accused of lying to both the guys she's been working with, worried about what to do about the League and trying to protect Oliver from the city and Palmer, is frustrated at Oliver for not letting himself be happy, and worried that Palmer has just shut her out. I think with all that stuff going on there was little chance of that not being a mess and it wasn't fun to watch. Please tell me that was the last of any boring love triangle-ish stuff we'll have (I probably won't get my wish.)

    So unusually for me I enjoyed the flashbacks more than some of the present day action and was more interested in watching the non-Oliver storyline for the most part.

    Little things:
    - loved the Diggle/Lyla wedding. It was lovely and their vows were lovely and of course any moment of relative happiness and peace has to be ruined.
    - Roy's few lines were funny and I like seeing him and Thea together and looking happy. She deserves a break from the pain
    - Like the little hint of Laurel's new enthusiastic trainer and I kinda liked her scene with Palmer
    - resolution between Felicity and Palmer seemed a little meh to me but at least he apologized for being an asshat
    - ominous line from Ray “when I make an offer...” for foreshadowing about offers in general. It's somehow a scary word now
    - Speaking of Ray, why the heck is that guy making statements on behalf of the city in a big press conference? Just because he gives loads of money? He has no position in the city but the mayor says barely anything and he makes a big long statement. I know we need to be flexible with reality but that really irks me and takes me right out of the story. (Get someone from Pawnee to explain local government to you, Ray)
    - Oliver again tells a guy that is jealous of him that “she chose you”. I was flashing back to Tommy. Oliver make make decisions for others a lot but seems pretty supportive of choices in their personal lives.
    - Cupid was so delightfully unhinged. I love how she transferred her affections pretty solidly to Deadshot the moment he saved her. She is hilarious but I can't take a relationship with Deadshot seriously because oddly I feel he deserves more than transference.
    - Okay, how is shooting the Mayor supposed to be a realistic thing for the Arrow to do? Even when the city was hunting him hard back in previous seasons he never just shot at officials through windows. Seems a lame frame-up at that point.

    1. A big "YES" to everything you said in this comment, seriously. This was always going to go poorly but I feel like it just unraveled in the worst possible way this episode, you know? Mainly because if Ray had been a likable person with one moment of douchebaggery, this would have been passable. But for an already abrasive character to act the way he did and say the things he did (and that resolution on the Raylicity front was just so so so so bad I cannot even)? Not cool.

      Extra stuff:
      - ROY AND THEA. Ugh, I love them.
      - Laurel was the best part about being forced to see Ray Palmer this episode. I was so excited that she verbally smacked him down. Can she ACTUALLY smack him down, too? Also: so hilarious to hear a mention of the "enthusiastic" Nyssa.
      - OBVIOUSLY RAY IS THE TEAM MASCOT OF STARLING CITY NOW, DIDN'T EVERYONE GET THAT NEWS BULLETIN? I guess it would have been like Moira Queen making a statement to the press though: he's well-established and well-recognized enough that it makes sorta sense. But yeah, to have a statement longer than the mayor's was a stretch even by their standards.
      - Cupid is my new favorite recurring character because she was so concerned with wedding talk. I just love how unhinged she is.

      Ehhhhhhhhh, given the fact that people get shot at a lot apparently in this city, I don't think it's a stretch for them to assume it was Arrow. But my thing is: does no one wonder WHY he's just shooting randos? Like, I feel like people should question why the sudden, dramatic shift, at least.

      Thank you as ALWAYS for your comments, Becca. They're always so well-articulated and perfect. :)

    2. I figure that the "She chose you" line was not meant to be understood as 'She chose you over me.' but more like 'She could do any number of things with her life and she has chosen to be with you, you lucky idiot. Just shut up, realise your good fortune and trust the woman."

      I would rather the Felicity/Ray thing just peter out of its own accord and due to its own weaknesses or issues rather than it come down to an actual choice between Oliver and Ray. That gets way too love-triangle for me and a thus sooooo boring. And thus far they haven't let it become too traditionally triangle-y.

  9. Great review as always! I am curious if others were as bothered by some of Felicity's behavior as I was. A few moments struck me as out of character and I am unsure if I am not giving her enough slack, because I love her so much and absolutely put her on a pedestal, or if something was off in the writing - it seemed like her actions were inconsistent with the Felicity I know and love. My issues: 1. Letting Ray speak to her like that when he found out about Team Arrow and her involvement. Her reaction was too passive and meek. Is he not herself with Ray? Even season 1 Felicity would not have taken that crap and she was grown so much since then. 2. Conversely, I was surprised she didn't challenge Oliver when he yelled at her - I expected her to say something along the lines of "it wasn't my secret to tell and you of all people should understand that." 3. When she told Oliver, that he probably wished Ray had died. Honestly, that was mean. Was she just lashing out? Seemed unlike her. 4. And finally, that kiss on the cheek to Oliver was also kind of mean. What a mixed message! She knows how he feels!

    1. Yeah I was irritated by some of her actions.
      1. I expected her to be mad and get angry. She is Felicity Smoak MIT class of 09. She doesn't take bullsh't from anyone. But I believe it is her attempt to hold on to that piece of happiness. She is not herself with Ray that alone shows that he is wrong for her.
      2. Oliver and Felicity conversation got interrupted a lot so I imagine she would totally pulled that card. Rightfully so. It wasn't her secret to tell even so Oliver would have liked to now.
      3. That was mean. But JBuffyAngel wrote something that got me thinking. It might be that part of her wishes that he would want that. That he wasn't so okay with her being with Ray.
      4. I loved the kiss for the kiss and I have no issue with it but it hurt Oliver for sure.
      Oliver really backed up his words in the episode. He might still have not seen the light but he is onthe right way. Showing his girl that he trusts her, letting her make her own decisions.
      I am so over Ray. I was neutral towards him but that episode put him on the bad list. He was just sitting on his high horse judging people and acting without care. He hurt Roy.
      Loved Laurel! I want same footage of Nyssa kicking her a'' though. Lawyer Laurel is my favorite Laurel.

    2. Thanks so much for reading and commenting, sblancap & Nadine.

      I tend to agree with you on the kiss on the cheek thing. I waffle back and forth between: "Felicity knows how much Oliver cares" and "Felicity knows how much Oliver used to care but is unsure what he currently feels." I feel like Felicity naturally is a very physical person so she expresses her emotions and gratitude or concern with touches (like she touched Oliver last week, locked her fingers with Ray this week, kissed Oliver on the cheek) so that seems rather consistent. Kudos to Amell in that scene because A+ face work, as always.

      Nadine, you're totally right: Oliver ACTUALLY backed up his words with his actions, multiple times, and came to Felicity's defense MULTIPLE TIMES. It was so refreshing to see him be upfront and honest for a change. More of this Oliver Queen, please and thank you.

      I'll NEVER GET OVER THE FACT THAT RAY SHOT AT ROY. Like, literally minutes earlier he was talking about how cool your suit was to Oliver, you jerkface. Why did he need to shoot him? Ugh, Ray is the worst. #sorrynotstorry

      Thank you both for your comments! <3

  10. I read Jbuffyangel's review after I wrote this comment and it did help me get past my annoyance with Felicity a bit. I have trouble buying that Ray Palmer can carry a spin off - I actually kind of liked him early in the season, but he was completely unlikable last night. If I watch the spin off it will 100% be for Caity Lotz and SpyDaddy (Victor Garber).

    And wow, I actually liked Laurel this episode too!

  11. Great review as always!

    Do you think the story will get to a point this season where Felicity will be forced to make a choice between her 'partnership' with the Arrow vs. Atom? She states that Ray wants her to be a 'partner' in all facets of his life - work, mission and life. How can she be fully committed to two different vigilante paths? At some point, she will have to side with one or the other, no? How do you think the writers will address this?

    1. Hello lovely anon. Thank you, first off, for commenting. :) Secondly, I don't know if there will ever come a point in which Felicity has to decide Atom or Arrow. Honestly, it seems clear that Felicity's loyalties will always be with Team Arrow. If they weren't, she wouldn't have told Oliver that Ray was coming for him, wouldn't have told him all the things that had happened. She may want a relationship with Ray and to help him, but I honestly have no doubt in my mind that if it was a choice between siding with Oliver (which she did in this episode, repeatedly) and siding with Ray, she would choose Oliver every time.

      I think it's going to be more than Atom vs. Arrow when Felicity makes a choice between them: I think it'll be about choosing Oliver or choosing Ray and not even THAT, really, but choosing what kind of life she wants and deserves for herself; choosing whether she can be fully committed to two people at the same time. I can't say for sure but I feel like in the end, her choice will be less of her choosing and more of Oliver choosing life with HER if that makes sense?

      Thanks again for your comments! :)

  12. First can I say your review along with jbuffyangel has given me a different perspective on that entire business last night. So for that I thank you because frustration brews strong for certain characters right now.

    I actually would like to add that none of Ray's actions actually surprised me. He's been a smug, arrogant, throw money at problems (his ability to talk at the mayor's podium?) personality since the beginning. It doesn't make you cringe any less but it wasn't completely left field. Also, Felicity and Ray's trust issues don't surprise me in the least. Ray's line about never lying to Felicity is quite laughable actually because their very first meet was under false pretences. Then he decided to allow Felicity to secretly work on a project now known as ATOM. Then he pulled her in to work on the suit, then he lied about it being ready...then, then, then. Boy done forgot he was also a lying liar that lies. The funny thing is, Oliver gave Felicity these little tasks to help his Hood activities but they also proved her trustworthy. Ray lied to Felicity for his (Lex Luthor?) reasons but immediately turns on her when she's not entirely forthcoming.

    I digress. I can rant about Ray quite a bit but what I'm getting at is, before anything remotely romantic happened between Felicity and Oliver, they trusted each other implicitly. They were ride or die buddies, which cannot be said for Ray and Felicity at all. Several times over the past few months I have questioned why Felicity doesn't question Ray's nefarious self when she calls out Oliver on probably changing the toilet paper. I don't really agree with Ray being up front about what he wants. He was up front when she threatened to leave, upfront when she didn't want to talk, upfront after she realised he was the dude who came into this shop. Up front about feelings? Mm yes the week after Felicity tells him someone who was "more" to her died, he was making moves on her! Felicity tells him to stop working, he tells her to bugger off and she has to use her genius brain to get him to do what she said. Then "the lunge" 2.0 happens with preceding "I only see you" and other such snot. Sorry Ray makes me bitter. It's not what I wanted for Felicity.

    Perhaps I'm being entirely too negative about Rayman's actions and words but for the life of me, the only positive this man has given Felicity is a high paying job (that he had to tackle her into taking). I would be open to someone giving me a different perspective actually. I can't only find negatives with a character.

    I've finally gotten a better perspective on the whole "she chose you" line from Oliver. I've genuinely been puzzled by bossmans thought processes if he thinks Felicity chose Ray over him. But I see now what he meant was she chose Ray to share her life with, not over him. Seems a big oversight right now but he's been saying similar since ep 7. So, thank you.

    1. Lanche: hello and welcome, first off! I'm so glad that my name twin/soul sister (Jen) and I are able to give you a different perspective. (And yes, frustration is brewing quite strong for certain characters, haha.)

      Ray's line about never lying to Felicity is quite laughable actually because their very first meet was under false pretences. Then he decided to allow Felicity to secretly work on a project now known as ATOM. Then he pulled her in to work on the suit, then he lied about it being ready...then, then, then.

      Everyone has brought up this point which I had admittedly forgotten about. But I can play devil's advocate in that perhaps he didn't mean literally and meant more like... he's always been open with his feelings for her and he thought she was, too, but clearly he thinks she's still emotionally attached to Oliver? That's me playing the world's smallest violin for Ray and giving him a brief moment of empathy, lol.

      before anything remotely romantic happened between Felicity and Oliver, they trusted each other implicitly. They were ride or die buddies

      THIS. It was extremely evident in this episode that there will never be a choice between Oliver and Ray -- she's going to choose Oliver every time and defend him, even when they're arguing.

      For the life of me, I can't think of anything remotely positive about Ray moving forward. I don't even care if he saves Felicity's life in the next episode by stepping in front of that arrow (I mean, I do because obviously I don't want to ever have this show be without Felicity, but I would rather have like... Laurel tackle Felicity and then Ray just get shot and die already. #horribleperson).

      I went from trying to play devil's advocate for Ray/disliking him to full-on jumping aboard the SS Ray Palmer Is The Worst boat this episode. I think -- from interactions with people on Twitter -- that this episode marked a turning point for a lot of others in that regard.

      You're always welcome to share your thoughts and opinions here, because that's what the comments section is made for! Thanks so much for sharing. :)

  13. Hello again. Good episode, but not as good as the last one….. It was impossible, even with a wedding and a baby around Oliver ;)
    I always thought Deadshot had something good in him… I hated him because of what he did to Diggle´s brother, but when he became a member of the Suicide Squad something changed…. And so I liked very much what they did with him in this episode….. I agree with you in him not being dead…… That “suicide” could have been his way to escape (although… didn´t they have a chip or something in the head that made them localizable at all times, and that could explode??). Also… I ship Deadshot and Cupid soooooo much!!!!! More than Thea and Roy, more even than Lyla and Diggle…. And I hope he´s not dead so we can sail that ship!
    I don´t think Ray has the right to be mad at Felicity because she didn´t tell him Oliver was the arrow….. That´s his secret. And maybe Felicity would have asked Oliver permission to tell Ray in the future, when their relationship was more advanced, but not now. And how he reacts, pushing Felicity out , and not trusting her opinion of Arrow, that´s the part in which I didn´t agree with Ray…..although I kind of understand the situation… he´s jealous, he´s mad at Felicity and he reacts that way (Thank God everybody knows now who Arrow is and they stop him. Yes, Laurel.). But everything else… Ray acted like a normal boyfriend, and although at first I was disappointed with his reaction, at the end of the episode I was back to my opinion of liking him. Ok, he´s not Oliver, but he cares about Felicity a lot…. And she cares about him as well… they find the way back to each other because their relationship is really important for both of them, it´s not just a stone in the way of Olicity….It is something to take into account. (Felicity tells Oliver she is VERY happy…. And I believe her completely, her face and her eyes corroborate what her mouth says).
    I think Oliver won a lot of points today (with everyone in the show and with everyone in the audience). He was straightforward with everybody, he helped Felicity with Ray when she needed him (even if she didn´t ask, and ok, it was the right thing to do, but not everyone would have done it). He didn´t like Ray being the Atom and what that meant for Felicity´s safety, but he helped them fix things, and that´s something alright!
    And in my opinion Ray didn´t change his mind just because of Oliver´s speech (nominated to better speech of the year: She chose you, so trust her…..), he was realizing himself what a mistake he had made... The last scene between Ray and Felicity was really sweet, and she is so invested in this relationship, that I care about Ray because she cares about him too. So much so that I don´t know how the show is going to get rid of Ray without hurting Felicity´s feelings…
    Oh well, another bad moment for Ray was when Atom electrocuted Roy…….. I yelled at him, and it wasn´t anything as beautiful as “super suit”. But then Oliver kicked his ass.
    LOL!!! I vote for the SPA time!!! Totally, I hope she does something like that when she goes to Central City with Ray….. Caitlin, Iris and her……
    Mr. Brooding McBroodpants… That was really good!
    “Oliver should probably just stop believing he is incapable of being happy”. YESSSSSSSS and when he does that everyone will be happier (them and us).
    I kind of think Laurel acts a little bit almighty around Felicity….. Not as much as before…. But a little bit yet. And I have to say, I hated her before, I don´t like her now… but she´s growing on me…
    Totally! I missed Hong kong flashbacks like minus 38. Can we have Deadshot´s flashbacks once in a while?
    P.S.: When I started writing this, there were 2 comments….. Now there´s almost 30!!! OMG I have so much to read!!

    1. oh!! and I forgot... I think Maseo will shoot Felicity (damn you Maseo, you were one of my favorites!! And Ray will save her, and that´s why he´s in the hospital badly hurt in 3x18...... see?? How are they going to get rid of him if he does thing like that??

    2. Hi there, again Bri! Welcome back, as always. :D

      1) Excellent point made about the chip in Deadshot's head. I wonder if maybe they just assume he's dead so it gets deactivated? Orrrrrr that's a glaring plot hole (considering he's probably alive because really is anyone ever 100% dead on Arrow?)

      2) THANK YOU FOR MAKING THAT POINT ABOUT FELICITY NOT TELLING RAY. I kept thinking: "But that wasn't her secret to tell you." Because even if she DID tell him she was working with The Arrow, he would try to figure out who he was. She would never willingly tell him (she didn't willingly tell Wells and that was a guy she insanely admired and she only told Barry because Oliver was dying, etc.) She keeps his secrets and so I thought it was out of place for Ray to be offended by that. Though Oliver was offended Felicity didn't tell him about Ray being a superhero so I thought that was out of place, too. NOT HER SECRET TO TELL, DUDE.

      3) I think Oliver won a lot of points today (with everyone in the show and with everyone in the audience). He was straightforward with everybody, he helped Felicity with Ray when she needed him (even if she didn´t ask, and ok, it was the right thing to do, but not everyone would have done it). He didn´t like Ray being the Atom and what that meant for Felicity´s safety, but he helped them fix things, and that´s something alright!

      Oliver has been a jerk for about 75% of the season but everything you just said is why he was one of my absolute favorite characters in this episode. THIS is the Oliver I can get behind: someone who communicates and who cares and who fights for Felicity without her asking him to, just because he really loves her and wants her to be happy.

      4) WHY DID RAY WANT TO ATTACK ROY? None of that made any sense.

      5) I just need an entire scene where the ladies are just sitting around in Central City, relaxing and taking a day off from saving the world to eat chocolate and talk about boys. It's silly but I want it so much.

      6) UGH. Okay I think Felicity must be saved by Ray... although, I would really like it if Laurel or Lance saved her and then as a consequence, Ray was in the open and got shot instead. IDK honestly how they will get out of a Ray/Felicity relationship if he saves her... again.


  14. Hi Jennifer Marie

    I've mentioned before that I quite liked Ray (apart from the phone pinging etc) but my opinion has changed somewhat as he was incredibly annoying and arrogant. While I get he is trying to save the city in his own way, it just felt like he was running amok in his Atom suit, with him blasting Roy and Oliver which I was NOT happy with at all. Poor Roy! Guy needs to do some more research on who the actual villains are in Starling City. I did like his confrontations with Oliver and I'm totally with you on him getting Laurel-Lanced, that was a great scene!
    I'm totally of the mind that a spin-off with Atom would be great, it could be a bit more science and techy than Arrow, but Ray on Arrow needs quite a bit of work. This episode did not endear me to him at all. He brought it back a little towards the end but I find it annoying every time he is with the Mayor (also why does Felicity have to be there?) Maybe he should run for Mayor instead, we've seen more speeches from him than the actual Mayor and he could do better things for the city on that path rather than flying around in his Atom suit. He did feel like a politician in this episode.

    Onto the lovely characters - Diggle and Lyla. They were so cute in the wedding and overall in the whole episode. I love how normal they are in amongst of all the craziness in the Arrow world and how in-tune they are with each other. I was a bit disappointed the wedding was so short, I would have liked to have seen Felicity actually catching the bouquet and a few more wedding scenes but they did jam so much into the episode that by the end the wedding felt like it happened a few episodes ago (if that makes sense).

    The Suicide Squad were great, I had not expected to warm to Deadshot, but he was rather compelling, I really hope he jumped or something off that roof, why do they have to kill the interesting characters?

    Oliver and Felicity, these two! Whether they are arguing or talking, I'm here for it all. I'm normally a patient person but now I wondering how long are they going to keep doing this dance. As always when these two really talk, it's gold, and there were some really great frank conversations. Love the little peck on the cheek, very cute Felicity:)

    While this episode was a little Ray-centric, I'm glad that Oliver and Ray know of each other better than before rather than being referenced through Felicity. But I'm ready for Raylicity to be over now ;)

    Sitara x

    1. Sitara, welcome back! Thank you, as always, for commenting. :)

      1) Ahhh, yes. Welcome aboard SS Used-to-Be-Indifferent-Toward-Ray-Now-We-Hate-Him. ;) Guy needs to do some more research on who the actual villains are in Starling City. SERIOUSLY. For someone who did a lot of research on The Arrow, he certainly didn't do much on the threats that targeted the city. Sheesh. Everyone, too, is up in arms over Ray shooting Roy and I love it. HE HAD NO REASON TO. POOR ROY.

      2) I'm totally of the mind that a spin-off with Atom would be great, it could be a bit more science and techy than Arrow, but Ray on Arrow needs quite a bit of work. I think this is essentially how a lot of people feel. If Ray had been introduced on his own first and THEN integrated into the show, it would have worked better. The reason Barry worked the reverse way (being integrated into Arrow and then getting his own show) is because he was just so darn likable. Grant is like, a puppy, and everyone loved Barry even if you didn't ship him with Felicity. The problem is that they tried TOO hard to get us to like Ray and when people backed away, he was shoved on us further. I don't know how the spin-off will work considering most people DON'T like Ray and want him off the show so they don't have to see him anymore. I think they should have just done what I noted above and it would have been better.

      3) The Suicide Squad were great, I had not expected to warm to Deadshot, but he was rather compelling, I really hope he jumped or something off that roof, why do they have to kill the interesting characters? I went into this episode thinking: "I love Deadshot's dry wit and sarcastic humor and Cupid's crazy so this will be fun" and came out of it thinking: "Deadshot was the most compelling part of this entire episode and his backstory was so deep and tragic that I JUST WANT MORE." We all know he can't REALLY be dead. He'll return. He better.

      4) I did like the Oliver/Felicity moments we got. I think the fact is that we are all just happy they're TALKING again. I don't even care if they're arguing because that's better than avoiding each other. And they both made some really good points in this episode.

      I'm 1000000% ready for the end of Raylicity which (if sources are correct and theories are true) should be happening within the next two episodes. I hope.

      As always, thank you for commenting! :)

  15. I want to add, to all your writings, that the main theme in Green Arrow(comics) as in Arrow(TV) is family.

    In my case this is how I see this freaking addictive TV Series formally named as Arrow...well, I see the family pattern, coming from behind, more and more in this season.

    In life you have a main thing that drives you thru it. Your profession, your social life style & status(sadly but true), love, friend and a dozen Oliver' case is family(the concept).

    Since Oliver came back from the island we see how he managed to re connect again with his family(S1) how can he worked to save his SC family and his blood family(no pun intended but hey wait! It does, right?��)(S2), and how he manage the desire to have a family of his own(S3).

    Just a few points about this "family issues"

    Blood's Family, the one that life gave us:
    We know how his parents died so he could live.We know he died so Thea could live. Family does that...they make sacrifices and we make sacrifices in honor to fulfill them or something like that.

    Starling City, Team Arrow and the one's we choose as families:
    Maseo is constantly saying he is grateful for what he had done with his family. We know Tatsu and Maseo are separated and their child is missing(presumedly dead).
    -I think after what happened in Hong Kong it was more clear to Oliver the need to fight for "The family" concept.-

    We know the reason for his vigilante's crusade is to make sure those police officer came back to their families.

    We see how he pushed Diggles to choose family first over all...

    We make sacrifice for our friends, our community, our pairs, etc..... that's what make us sociable people...we may fight for equity, social justice, environment and so many thing and in this daily basis we create a family too.

    Family of his own:

    Normally our goal is to have a family of our own. It's part of our culture, our traditions, it could be socially impose, or whatever.... but its there. We also, most of the time, come from one...disfuncional or not. The legacy of ones life as some people call it.

    In this matter we know he wants one but he is pushing felicity away because of the life he chose. And he also wants her to have a family (slightly implicit but it's there) not just to be happy. Why denied her the opportunity to have it.....why he has to be selfish with it?

    Remember the hurt face in the hospital when sara was born and felicity was near them? After that he finished the never-started relationship and after that every word that comes out of his mouth thru this season is about family...the one he could not have(pushing Diggles to embrace the opportunity he has with lyla and sara)this was felicity but in Sara's dead she used "there's been a dead in the family" (it really was a reference to the comics where The Joker killed Robin but that does not matter here, sorry ��), the importance to be near family(when Thea was in Corso Maltese), the conflict we will always have with them(Felicity and mama Smoak), the sacrifices we are willing to make for them(fighting Ra's Al Ghul) and so on.

    Using the words from, don't remember his name, the one who died in the freight in season 2. "the essence of heroism is to die so that others can live" Oliver do this all the time for families.

    It was also beautiful to see it when Deadshot "used it" with his action in this episode. He sacrifice in the name of the family he had lost and the opportunity to be with them so Diggles and Lyla will have that chance.

    See, Lyla and Diggles brokedown in the mission and that's why when they came back talked about their priorities. Family. Diggles, for the first time told Oliver he was right. They: Team Arrow and Company has been telling Oliver what a jackass he has been because he choose to be The Arrow instead of been Oliver Queen

  16. Diggles validate Oliver's position after he was in the middle of a mission with a zero expectation to exit it alive. Lyla was hysterical because she realized they will leave baby Sarah an orphan and Diggles felt that too. Reality checks in!

    That's what Oliver has been fighting for family. That's his identity, his real struggle, his real humanity, the family.

    If he lose this attachment he will lose his humanity with it. That's why felicity is so important in his life...she is the family we wants for his own.

    In 2.23 the unthinkable was to put in danger the one he loved the most to defeat Slade. (This very important because in the Arrow CW comics Oliver told Roy...he just get her back from slade and he can't risk to lose her again). That's why after their first date, the bomb and the baby scene he decided to breakup with Felicity. "Before it's too late" and that means be in the same position of lyla and diggles. So after the bomb in the restaurant the did what Diggles and Lyla did in this episode. And after Tatsu saved his life she said that in order to defeat Ra's he will lost that most precious to his heart.

    I know he hurt Felicity and also it was painful(extremely) for her losing him at Ra's al Ghul's blade but it was not the same.(wow I don't know how to explain it more). He gave her the chance to live a life, to find someone who love her as she deserve and have a family. Because if she is alive and have a family his purpose is served in a wicked way but it is there...

    And No, it will not be with the Egomaniac/ narcissist Ray.(Ok I feel relief)

    Ok, this will be difficult and may be some of you will be furious but lets talk about Ray, a necessarily evil in this story, and Felicity's relationship.

    First our heroine...sorry in advance I will try to be nice with her but she's making it difficult to me...

    Felicity thinks she can have it all...but she is also damaged. She has abandon issues, she has felt the (not so real) lost of a lover(who also sacrificed himself for her). Even though she is a mature and confident woman she idolize the love relationships. Or at least with the few tips we have i can rely on that. She's willing to love and live and needs someone who wants that too. She want it all. Not bad but...we can't have it all. In order to live a life we need to sacrifice a few aspect of it. Thinks of the sacrifice we have done in order in our lives. Maybe it's all about balance but never all or nothing. Felicity right now, maybe she needs it, its about all or nothing. Also i like to pinpoint that the decision she made with Oliver on the first episodes this season(and also later) were made after the lost of some she loves...abandon issues manifesting at all of its glory. By this I mean she do it by impulse and not with a clear mind...all or nothing.

    She wants a hero. She want to be saved. It doesn't matter if she needs to be saved. Our first hero are our parents. For the girls is the father...and Felicity did not have this kind of relationship. That's why she run from Oliver to Ray. Yes, she choose Ray just because she wants the hero that "says" what she wanted to hear. Ray said he wants a partner in real life, his mission and in work. REMEMBER her words "Ray wants to be a hero and a human being"....I'm sure Oliver wanted it also...but he almost lost felicity two times...(this is why the comics from Arrow are so important- oh you clever guggenheim!)- it is not about how afraid he is for being happy is about he doesn't want to feel the misery of losing take away the opportunity to live a life, to have a family. I don't know if what I'm writing make any sense I'm trying my hardest to...

  17. Anyways Ray is necessary evil to Felicity to realize and understand the reasons Oliver had to pushed her away.

    Eventually Ray will do it, I'm with Oliver in this, he just lost Ana. Just one...he is in this freaking high trip of egocentric heroism thinking he will not lose anyone else because he's so intelligent and so brave that he will save the world....hello palmer....Oliver had lost at least a dozen so line forms behind him...

    Felicity sees in Ray the hero she wants. The hero she wants to save her, even though she doesn't need it.

    What will happen when felicity, as we saw at the end of this episode, be in danger? That working with him put her at risk I'm sure egomaniac guy will shut her down too. *crossed finger that happens in the hospital scene or just be the beginning of problems in that direction*

    Ok I have to say....He accused her of lying, which was NOT a lie, only hidden information...but didn't  he do the same with the supersuit? Exactly!!! We're watchinh you Ray, we're watching you.

    This is not about what she is capable of...I mean she can kick some packs pretty hard(Season 2.5 #15).

    This reminds me when Felicity told  Palmer after Sara died... "I'm over my quota where losing friends are concerned". I know he lost his fiance but whatever its not the same...the path of every superhero begins with one dead but it also is accompanied by many others.

    (sorry I really hate his egotrip I know his intentions are good but...i don't trust him...I think his unstable as Laurel...wait that will be a great pair...maybe we can start a Raurel ship, right? No? Ok forget it)

    In the relationship with Ray she will learn a few things but mostly the idealization she has with the merge of "the hero and human being" it's not possible or at least its complicated as Diggles said it.

    I'm not trying to validate Oliver actions it just sometime we are so focus on our perceptions that we forget to fit the others shoes.

    Well for me Oliver is not rejecting Felicity because he is afraid to be happy he is rejecting her because he thinks she can never have with him what he wants for everybody( but himself) to have..a family.

    Sorry for my english and for the extensive of this comment.

    Much Love


    1. Mey: First off, thank you so much for your comments! It's clear that you took a lot of time and thought and put them into commenting. I truly appreciate it. Secondly, you never should apologize for your English! I'm always blown away by people who comment here and aren't native English speakers. You guys are awesome, seriously, so thank you so much!

      You're right in that a huge theme of this season is family. We see it in every story: With Oliver/Thea, with Malcolm, with Felicity, with Maseo, with the Lances, Diggle, etc. I think the question of what it means to be a family is so strong, too. What does a good family look like? Is it okay to justify lies by telling your loved ones it's because you're "protecting them"? How far will you go to save your family? etc. etc.

      It was also beautiful to see it when Deadshot "used it" with his action in this episode. He sacrifice in the name of the family he had lost and the opportunity to be with them so Diggles and Lyla will have that chance.

      YES. You're exactly right. Deadshot's sacrifice was so important and powerful because of all of those themes that had been present in the episode about family, especially his own.

      You know, I hadn't really thought too much about the scene in "The Calm" about paralleling it with Dig/Lyla in this episode -- that eventually he would be the one in the field having to make the same choice they did and feeling the regret they did in "Suicidal Tendencies" -- but I think you're onto something there, really.

      I think you're right that there's a part of Felicity that romanticizes relationships but I think the larger aspect here is that she values honesty and happiness above anything else. And of course, she's never going to be completely and totally happy all of the time. But the difference now is that Ray is allowing himself to be happy by being with her; Oliver wasn't. And he still isn't. Even though they're not together, he still keeps pushing her away and it's frustrating for her. And she's right: she doesn't deserve that.

      Felicity sees in Ray the hero she wants.

      Exactly this. She sees everything Oliver isn't being with her and that's what draws her toward Ray. (Though after this episode I don't even remotely know WHY.) I did totally get a momentary ship vibe from Laurel/Ray in their confrontation but I don't think ANY female character deserves to be with the awfulness that is Ray Palmer.

      Thanks again for your comment, Mey! :)

  18. Hi :-). I just wanted to say that you write beautifully, with so much insight and heart. Thank you for sharing x

    1. Sokipie, thank you so much for your kind comment! That is so flattering and I am honored that you think so! :)

  19. This is great overall, but to be clear, Ray has most certainly not been honest with her from the beginning. He lied to her the moment they met when he tricked her into helping him hack QC. He lied to her about why he wanted the hard drive fixed He failed to inform her why he wanted the mine. He stole her facial recognition software and failed to tell her the suit she had helped build has been working for weeks. He's basically a big old turd, and I look forward to the hard failure of the spinoff.

    1. Hey there anon! I should have been more specific in the actual post, but I think I mentioned in the comments that technically Ray is correct because I think meant more emotional honesty. He's always been upfront about his feelings to her and his thing was (in the completely jerk way he went about it because make no mistake, I loathe Ray Palmer now) that he felt like the reason she wasn't telling him was because she had feelings for Oliver that were blinding her to the truth of who he was.

      Blegh. So yes, technically he was super duper shady in terms of how he got her to help him with the Atom. But he really has always been upfront about how he feels with her.

      UGH. I said above too that if Ray had been introduced IN a spin-off and then like, integrated into the show I feel like I would accept his character a little bit more. But now... nope. Too late. he's the worst. I don't want the spinoff to fail if Caity Lotz is, indeed, in it because I love her but can we just like... zap Ray Palmer to Oliver's island and let Slave deal with him? Please?

  20. It occurred to me today, in the run-up to the Arrow/SCPD conflict: what on earth will Lance think when he finds out that MALCOLM MERLYN is living in Oliver's flat?

    Come to think of it, why doesn't he hand Merlyn over to the people's justice as a matter of course? I really don't get why he's making all these terrible choices.

  21. I absolutely love the idea of Felicity getting spa time with Caitlin and Iris. She deserves it, and she needs to get away from the crazy men she's involved with.

    This episode had the best Laurel the show has ever done. I wish they would let her stay a kickass lawyer instead of a flailing Black Canary.

    " He isn't a hero because it makes himself feel better (which is precisely what, I think, is driving a lot of Ray's decisions)."

    That's interesting because what drives Laurel is that beating up people makes her feel better by quieting the rage inside her, as she said. It's ironic, or maybe planned, that the two weakest fighters this season, the ones who really shouldn't be out there yet, do it not to help others but because it makes them feel better about themselves.

    My head almost exploded when Ray told Felicity he's been open with her from the start because he's been lying to her from their first meeting when he went looking for her (as per Andrew Kreisburg) because he'd heard of her rise at QC and still used her to get the tools to illegal hack into QC's private files. He didn't tell her why he was so desperate to hire her (to get the OMAC intel) or why he wanted it. He didn't tell her, his "partner" that the suit has been working for five weeks or that he stole her facial recognition software for it. It makes Felicity seem so desperate for a real partner, one who will let her in emotionally and in his mission, that she's ignoring the warning signs.

    Ray spends the episode telling Felicity and Laurel that they're too blinded by their emotions to make good judgements but he's much worse than they are because he's blinded by his desire to take down the Arrow. At the end, he accepts Oliver's judgement when he refused to take Felicity's (remember when he told her how much he relied on her judgement?) and she's still the one who apologizes to him first.

    He's been a complete douche, and I don't understand how we're supposed to want to see him in the new spin-off.

    I liked Oliver in this episode but he lost points with me when he told Felicity that Ray was going to dump her as soon as he got more experience as a vigilante. Not cool, guy.

  22. Hello, my first time here. Just found your blog and all your reviews and I am thrilled! I needed a place to vent! LOL

    I must say I am team Olicity FOREVER and nothing will ever change that! Ever! I think they are perfect together in so many levels... First of all, Oliver CARES about Felicity. I am not saying that in a romantic way - because we know he loves her - but every other possible way. Since the beginning of the show he always cared about Felicity and that`s something! He is a private person and he hides what he feels so much that there were times I actually hadn't a clue of what he was feeling ( most of the times until recently). He shows no emotion all the time and It`s something really hard for anyone to do. I understand that it`s a defense mechanism but I confess I got angry with him so many times because of that. And because of how he really hide emotions, I got really shocked when he confessed he loved Felicity in the end of last season. I was truly shocked!
    On the other hand, he always showed how much he cared for Felicity since the beginning and that melts my heart. This season he is a little bit more open about his deep feelings and I think this is why I love him so much. But - a big but - this ever going crisis he has, when he thinks he can`t be happy, he can`t be with anyone (hello..what about sarah?Why could he be with her AND help the city and the same does not apply to Felicity? Because he loves Felicity and he did`t love Sarah? I hope not, because this would make him selfish in my opinion!) AND fight crime, really started annoying me! REALLY. Because I think there is a limit for so much brooding one person can be. In this season, Oliver got really dark, really serious, really brooding and I can count in one hand the smiles he gave; not that he smiled a lot before.
    Anyway, I said all that just to explain that I really understood Felicity moving on to Ray. Really. She asked Oliver to stop dangling maybes, to say that he would NEVER be with her, that he NEVER loved her; in this point I read her thinking that IF he really loved her, he would find a way of being with her AND being The Arrow and being Oliver Queen. And i totally agreed with her.
    So, when she decided she really deserved someone to be happy with and someone willing to commit in a relationship with her, she realized that Oliver was not willing to try. Oliver was willing to go after Ras and risk his life, Oliver was willing to try working side by side with Malcon to defeat Ras, Oliver was willing to keep protecting the city. But - again, a huge but- he was not willing to try being with her. And that hurts. Boy, it hurts so much I can almost feel Felicity`s pain. It hurts so much that she had to move on. She couldnt keep doing this to herself. She moved on.
    Ray apparently was the perfect guy to replace Oliver in Felicity`s heart: good looking with a great sense of humor. But the most important thing - and I think that this is what attracted Felicity to him - he listened to her and followed her advices. He truly listened to her. In my opinion, Felicity did`t think Oliver really listened to her, otherwise, he would not go after Ras and would not be with Macon.Ray instead, listened to her. Took her advices. Followed what she had to say. That was a huge turn on for Felicity who, up until now, was always struggling to make Oliver see things the way they really were. It was always hard, difficult and requiring a lot of work, to make Oliver REALLY listen to her and follow what she said. With Ray was easy. He listened. He took her opinions in consideration. He followed what she said. Huge turn on for Felicity. (continues

  23. (...)

    So, you see, I really understood Felicity going to Ray.
    Until this episode.

    Man, this Ray proved to be such a jerk! Who he thinks he is to even THINK he knows who Oliver really is? To question Felicity`s loyalty to him and just dismiss it because of her feelings for Oliver? I got so angry that I really wished someone killed Ray in this episode. Or torture him! He lost his appeal to me! ( Sorry, Brandon Routh! Your Atom sucks!) And now I question in the name of God, why is Felicity still with him? I mean, really Felicity? He tried to KILL OLIVER! To kill the supposed love of your life! And based in what? What justify him doing that and you still being by his side? I can`t understand! Really!
    And I really hope they fix it until the end of this season or I`ll start questioning my love for Felicity! Really!

    So, to finish this long text, I expect some things to happen until the end of this season:
    1) Felicity realizing that just because Oliver doesn`t want to be with her ( I don`t buy the "I can`t" thing), it doesn`t mean she has to be with the first guy who shows up. I mean, really, she even did`t give Ray the opportunity to buy her dinner before jumping in bed with him! Desperation it seems and we all know that Felicity doesn`t need to be this way!
    2)Ray disappearing of the face of earth. Really, go away!
    3) Oliver realizing that he can be happy and be the arrow. And by this I don`t even mean he has to be with Felicity( although I would love that!) . Happiness doesn`t resume to being with someone, he can be happy alone! Just stop the brooding and the "I can`t have friends, be in love, be happy and must die alone" thing!

    Ok, thanks for letting me vent! LOL

    Sorry about my english. It`s not my first language and It gets difficult to express in words what you really feel when you are not using your native language :)